Priscilla Dorsey Ridgely

Painting of Priscilla Dorsey Ridgely.
Priscilla Dorsey Ridgely, early copy after Joseph Wright.


Charles Carnan Ridgely’s wife, Priscilla Dorsey Ridgely (1762-1814) was the mother of fourteen children, eleven of whom survived to adulthood. She embodied the ideal of Republican Motherhood in her era. This new American notion elevated the woman's traditional maternal role to that of a safeguard of the new nation, responsible for the moral instruction of its future citizens. Women were expected to be models of virtue. As a Methodist Elder, Priscilla set an example not only for her children, but also for her fellow women who were only just beginning to come into prominence in the religious world in America. No written records created by Priscilla have been found.




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Last updated: April 12, 2024

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